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tv   The Eighties  CNN  September 3, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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respected the united states after he said that any provocation, any threat from north korea on the u.s. would lead to the kind of fire and fury like the world had never seen before. this is something that clearly has been on the president's mind. just yesterday he was on the phone with japanese prime minister shinzo abe discussing options in north korea. the day before, on friday, he had been speaking to president moon of south korea as well. this is likely to be the biggest foreign policy challenge for this president in the coming months. clearly, north korea is not backing down. the question now is how will the white house respond? we've seen one response from the cabinet trying to focus on diplomacy. and -- >> boris. >> -- robust in his rhetoric, isha. >> he has and we wait to see what he says next.
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boris sanchez joining us from washington. you have been live programming from los angeles. i'm isha sesay. cnn will continue its coverage of that sixth nuclear test by north korea in just a moment. i'm going to hand it over to cnn headquarters in atlanta where you'll find cyril vanier and natalie allen. natalie allen. thanks for being with us. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we pick up our breaking news coverage from our cnn headquarters in atlanta. i'm cyril vanier. >> i'm natalie allen. >> north korea says it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. japan says an earthquake detected earlier was indeed a nuclear test. u.s., china and south korea all say they did detect seismic activity that was manmade. >> reports come less than one
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day after pyongyang said it had a new hydrogen bomb. these images purport to show kim jong-un inspecting the device. state media claim it can be loaded on an intercontinental ballistic missile. covering this from all angles, will ripley is in tokyo, and christiane amanpour is on the line in london. ian lee is in seoul, south korea. let's begin with you. >> once this earthquake officially it was an earthquake that was detected, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. there was a lot of talk this could have been a nuclear test. so the south koreans went -- convened an emergency session of their national security council to discuss this latest development. that council convened a meeting that lasted hours and just got out. we are expecting an update in
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about 30 minutes' time but it's we have heard that the south korean military has been placed on a heightened alert. there is extra surveillance taking place in the north right now. we're hearing that south korean officials are in close contact with their american counterparts to discuss this latest development. but for people here in south korea, they woke up with really, two major developments. first off, north korea saying they have developed the technology to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an intercontinental ballistic missile and hours later, you have this earthquake which turned out to be a nuclear test, the largest nuclear test to date and test where they were testing the bomb -- an h-bomb to put it on top of an icbm. quite a number of big developments coming out of the korean peninsula. >> the last time the test was a
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5.3. this is a 6.3. and there was also a followup earthquake. what do we know about that, ian? >> well, it's believed to be the tunnel collapsing. this test was carried out underground and once it exploded they believe this second followup earthquake could have been the tunnel collapsing, which would have people fear that this could release radiation into the atmosphere and into the surrounding regions but the south koreans say that no radiation escaped after this test was carried out but the japanese are testing the air around the eastern part of the country to see what they can determine from that test. but what we know are that the officials here in south korea and in the region are determining what really took place, how the size of this
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explosion, what kind of bomb it was, but also what their reaction to it is going to be. up until now they've tried to isolate north korea through diplomatic and economic sanctions. we'll wait to see if that is going to be the path forward with this nuclear test. >> ian lee for us in seoul. thank you. >> and north korean television released this statement a short while ago. the h-bomb test was carries out to show the power, control, technology and internal structural design h-bomb to be placed at the payload of the icbm. let's wring in will ripley who has been to north korea 14 times and knows the country extremely well. will, we knew that north korea was going to conduct a nuclear test. it was a matter of when. you told us so, yourself. where does this leave us in
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terms of the level of threat that north korea poses and what does it mean that is it an h-bomb, a hydrogen bomb. >> the messaging is surreal. i just woke up in pyongyang, yesterday and north korea was putting out statements that indicated they may be opening the door for diplomacy. the leading newspaper, the mouth piece of the ruling workers party that the united states needs to change its position of refusing to acknowledge north korea as a nuclear weapons state. north korea believes that the united states has an unfair position still policy toward them and they called that justification for continuing development of these weapons of mass destruction. it seemed that, perhaps, the decision was going to dial down but clearly that is not the case and north korea has ramped up not only the rhetoric but the actions even further.
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and so, we have known that at least since april north korea has been ready to push the button on the sixth nuclear test at any moment. there was speculation to coincide with the day of the sun celebration on april 15th. that didn't happen. perhaps a warning from china of severe consequences may have caused north korea to back down. but north korean officials denied that china has any influence over their nuclear program. and since then what we've seen is a continued unprecedented barrage of missile tests. they launched two in the month of july. they launched the hwasong-12 over hokkaido in northern japan. and today they put out this photo of north korea's supreme leader, kim jong-un standing in front of what north korea says is a miniaturized nuclear warhead, an h-bomb they say can
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fit on an icbm. when that message came out, i saw the photo and started to wonder what's coming next. and we've seen what is coming next. this sixth nuclear test. as far as the danger that the region is in today versus yesterday, pretty much the same. north korea by doing this is demonstrating their capability and i would say that north korea still would be willin to engage in dialogue with the united states. but what they are saying here is they will not come to the table from a position of weakness. they are not backing down after that fire and fury, locked and loaded rhetoric from u.s. president donald trump. they are saying these are our weapons, they're only going to continue to become increasingly advanced unless the united states stops isolating us and instead is willing to take a different approach. that's what north korea has
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wanted for a long time and north korea believes that this strategy of testing these weapons of mass destruction and arsenal is going to get them there. they say this h-bomb is something that was manufactured entirely with components made in north korea. they don't have to be imported from any country. north korea says they can do it all on their own. that gives less leverage with the united states wanting china to cut them off economically. and north korea saying they could still build them and build them even faster. >> hours before the test they were putting out these pictures we are seeing on the screen of the north korean leader, kim jong-un next to what was purported to be the h-bomb. does that change anything? for our viewers wakes up now and seeing this as the novelty in this latest nuclear test, does
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that change anything? >> it's important to point out that this is not the first time that north korea has claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. but at that point the earthquake that was created was ten to 11 times smaller than the earthquake that seismologists detected in north korea today. and so there was a lot of speculation back then that it was a hiydrogen bomb. this time, seismologists around the world detected this. it was detected at dozens of stations around the world. it was felt by people in north korea and outside the country as well. an explosion powerful enough to trigger a secondary event that could be a structural collapse which would mean the tunnels
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that north korea digs into the mountains, the explosion might have been so powerful to cause a major internal collapse. that would indicate the biggest north korean nuclear explosion we have ever seen and adds credibility to the claim that this was a hydrogen bomb they tested. sniffer planes from japan are looking for any sign of radiation put into the environment. it was note worthy in north korea's statement by their lead an co anchor, north korea made a point to say no radiation has been released into the environment and this test did not pose a negative threat to the environment. we will have to see what the united states and south korea and japan say after this extremely powerful test, the
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largest we've seen yet. >> great to get your insights. you are back from your most recent trip to pyongyang, speaking to us from tokyo there. christiane amanpour joins me live from london now. i want to address the big picture with you. all of this that has happened over the last year and two years and the testing of nuclear capabilities has become predictable. we knew there was going to be a sixth test. big picture, where does this go next? what happens? >> cyril, here's the thing, everybody hoped -- certainly the united states hoped and took actions to try to prevent a sixth nuclear test and this one apparently being the kind of miniaturized weapon that could be put on the tip of an icbm that could reach the united states and that is the nightmare scenario.
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and to that extent when the president is talking about all options on the table and the locked and loaded and fire and fury, the pentagon released pictures that were designed to warn pyongyang not to do this. there were joint exercises over south korea. and they dropped live weapons, live ammunition over that area into a firing range. they apparently do that very, very rare will the united states and its allies down there. the pictures were released to warn off pyongyang from yet audio more powerful test. it clearly didn't work. and this is the huge question that successive u.s. administrations and regional administrations have been unable to strategically short themselves out into a common approach to north korea. i have spoken and many at cnn have spoken to the cia analysts who are the last and more high
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level americans to have met with the most high level north koreans to discuss north korea's nuclear ambitions and strategic proposition here. and they have a very dark scenario and dark answer coming back from pyongyang that they said they were told nothing you can do, nothing you can offer us, no amount of talks are going to stop us from perfecting our nuclear program and becoming a nuclear power, we are not going to denuclearize. this is the dilemma that the united states and regional allies have to deal with. china has been looked at as the holy grail savior of this moment. but up until now and this is really important to digest and absorb. up until now despite its words and rhetoric and insisometimes
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getting angry with north korea, china has strategically calculated up until now that a nuclear north korea is less dangerous than an unstable north korea that collapses and creates more instability in that region. that is what china is signaling by its diplomatic actions so far. will this change china's calculation? and will the united states, japan, south korea, decide to go back to a period where they engage north korea in talks? and obviously there's a precedent here. the clinton administration did that back in the '90s. george w. bush administration did that finally after realizing that confronting north korea brought them closer to north korea perfecting and accelerating the nuclear weapons program. the obama administration preferred to engage in strategic patience. that didn't work. north korea kept moving ahead
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with its program. and it has really been doing what it said it is going to be doing and a hydrogen bomb is exponentially more powerful than the fission bomb than exploded over nagasaki and hiroshima in august of 1945, the end of the war there. so we are in a very dramatic moment and the question is, is there diplomacy to be had? or the other issue that people say about north korea is, you have to be really careful not to blunder into precisely the kind of situation you don't want. if north korea doesn't know what you're going to do it may take its own pre-emptive action. there are a lot of muddy waters and policy all over the map. there is a lot of credibility issues with this situation from the west and from the regional allies. there needs to be clarity and a
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strategic decision on how to move forward on this whether by diplomacy or whatever other way is better than diplomacy. but most people think it should be diplomacy. >> thank you so much. christiane amanpour, cnn's chief international correspondent. thanks. christiane talking there about china and their philosophy toward north korea. andrew stevens is in china. and first of all, interesting that christiane brought up the point that china although has been pressured by the united states and other countries in the region has not put the pressure these countries would like to see on north korea because they were concerned about regime collapse and it seemed like that was more of a concern than a nuclear north korea. has there been any response from china as of yet? >> no response as yet, natalie. but that equation that christiane talked about is very much what you hear in china, that strategically, they see a
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nuclear-armed north korea in a better light than they see a collapsing north korea which could result in literally millions of refugees flooding across its border, potentially a united korean peninsula as an ally of the united states which would bring the u.s. one step closer to china's own borders. and china does not want to see that. there is a difference between how china and the u.s. see north korea. the u.s. sees it as a rogue state which is breaking international convention and laws by developing illegally a missile and nuclear program. china doesn't see it like that at all. they see it as a survival mode, if you like. the u.s. is forcing north korea into taking this sort of action because north korea is concerned about its very survival and a nuclear deterrent guarantees that survival.
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so they are very different views between the u.s. and china as to what is behind this north korean ramping up its nuclear program. interestingly though, china certainly, even though it is the key ally, economically speaking of north korea, 90% of north korea's internal trade goes through china. china will say we have and are abiding by the latest round of u.n. sanctions which were posted in early august. so we are doing what we can. and it's important to remember in this that further sanctions the balance here is further sanctions as we talk about the chaos in north korea, the further sanctions hitting the north koreans themselves. energy is needed to heat homes and provide electricity. textiles provides income for poor, very poor north koreans. so that is the equation they are looking at.
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and just to finish, though, i want to point out this is something of a poke in the eye by north korea to china. i'm down here where the brics summit is going to be health. brazil, russia, india, china, and south america. it is being presided of this year by china. this is a big deal for xi jinping as they lead up to a party conference next month. and xi jinping wants to show the world and very much the domestic audience this is a big moment for china to have these world leaders here to talk about economic development. and economics generally. to have north korea hijack the conversation about its latest nuclear test will not play well at all with beijing. president xi is due to open this
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country in a couple hours from now. whether he mentions north korea, we don't know that. but it may be he prefers to ignore it publicly and then speak to vladimir putin about it tomorrow when the two leaders meet in a bilateral meeting. >> perhaps it also illustrates the disregard, perhaps, that north korea holds china these days. we know there is more tension between these two countries. andrew stevens for us. we'll wait and see if xi jinping does make statements in a couple of hours. >> let's try and find out whether russian is reacting to this. fred pleitgen is in moscow. fred, moscow is -- russia is one of those countries that has warned the u.s. against the
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fiery rhetoric and stumbling into a war with north korea. what are you hearing? >> they have and quite recently, vladimir putin has told americans in a speech in china saying that the rhetoric coming out of the united states, the threats coming out of the united states, the russians don't believe those are very helpful or will persuade the north koreans to change their course and the russians view some of the military moves that the u.s. has made over the past couple weeks as quite dangerous as a provocation to themselves as well. the intercepter missiles that the u.s. put in north korea and japan were not seen well by the russians and some of the over lights as well, close to russian territories. while north korea has its main border with china it also has a border with russia. it's about 18 kilometers long but it is close to one of
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russia's main pacific port towns which is the port of vlad vladivostok. they say it was measured by their geological survey and the russians have now come out and say they don't believe this nuclear test poses any threat for the territory of the russian federation. the winds are such that if any radiation would have been released by the test it would blow in the other direction because the wind is coming from the north and blowing to the south. on a political level we have not heard reactions yet. but president putin is going to be heading to the brics summit to speak with the chinese. the russians appear to have the same policy approach or see eye to eye with the chinese on this
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matter. they are for a policy known as a double freeze. they say they want the north koreans to halt their testing and also their missile tests as well. the nuclear weapons as well as ballistic missile tests and in return the u.s. should stop military maneuvers like the ones they were conducting over the past couple days with their allies in the pacific region. that runs contrary to what the u.s. is doing. but the russians coming out a couple of days ago and heavily criticizing the united states saying that the u.s. policies towards north korea have not been helpful and threats towards north korea clearly have done absolutely nothing to sway that state to move into a different direction. they are calling for more policy. it's quite interesting to see what the russians are doing. on the one hand they are subject to new u.s. sanctions for dealing with north korea. but at the same time in the u.n.
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security council they have voted with the united states on further measures against north korea after that missile test took place with that rocket flying over the territory of japan. so certainly an interesting policy from the russians. but they -- stuff is very, very clear. they're saying to the united states what you should do is engage with north korea rather than threaten north korea. >> thank you. i'm trying to better understand the point of view of russia on this. is it just they believe the u.s. policy is ill adapted to dealing with north korea and not getting results or is it they have a higher tolerance for a nuclear-armed north korea? >> i think it's very similar to china. i think one of the things that russians fear if there was instability in north korea if for whatever reason there were a real conflict between the united
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states and north korea they fear there could be a lot of north korean refugees that would go into russian territory. the border is right there. it's not a large border. it's 18 kilometers wide. but there is that fear the instability could spill over. there is also trade between russia and north korea. they don't want to jeopardize that either. there is a general self interest of russia to have a stable north korea even if it means having a leader like kim jong-un in place there. and they want to take diplomatic jabs to the united states to a certain extent as well. but this is also a russian policy to say we want a stable north korea. we don't believe what the united states is currently doing, the threats toward the north korean government and kim jong-un himself, they don't believe that's something that is going to be productive for that region. >> fred pleitgen in moscow.
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christiane amanpour is in london. i know you want to way in. >> just to say it was rather dramatic a few weeks ago when president xi of china and president putin of russia issued a joint declaration about north korea and the rest of the world. they basically said that north korea must cease and desist from this activity but the united states needs to reciprocate by stopping its joint exercises with south korea and stopping all that business that the -- in other words it took the north korean position about the u.s. in that region. that complicates matters when you are seeking a common ground in terms of the five permanent security council members. they are all the nuclear powers. it is absolutely in their interest that north korea stops this nuclear and they can want
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get together as a whole despite the way they voted which is to sanction and scensure north kora over these tests and nuclear program. north korea can play one off the other at will. and it does seem there is a vacuum of leadership on this issue and north korea with its ability to move forward tech lodgical technologically. and using the method that the founder of the state brought to north korea, that is carrying on. this is very, very important. >> christiane, thank you very much. we're going to keep the conversation going on. let's get to all our guests right now. >> the test of a hydrogen bomb in north korea is the latest in an escalating back and forth between president donald trump
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and kim jong-un. >> north korea, best not make any more threats to the united states they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. he has been very threatening. beyond a normal statement. and as i said they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> mr. trump was sharply criticized for his fiery rhetoric but he wasn't backing down. listen to what he said two weeks after that. >> and you see what's going on in north korea. all of a sudden -- i don't know, who knows. but i can stell you what i said it's not strong enough. but kim jong-un, i respect the
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fact that i believe he is starting to respect us. >> but is he now? until now, pyongyang's recent provocations have been missile tests including one launched over japan just last tuesday. let's go tour boris sanchez from washington. the question is when we next hear from president trump via tweet in a few hours or some other way, will he still be sounding the same tough tone? >> we are waiting to find out, natalie, cnn has reached out to the white house and the pong far response to this latest test. we got word from seoul that president moon jae-in's security
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adviser held an emergency phone call with the national security adviser h.r. mcmaster. the president was tweeting not long before this test took place but not specifically about north korea. as you said before, the president has created a pattern of fiery rhetoric directed toward kim jong-un at one point saying, as you heard, that north korea if it continued to threaten the united states would face fire and fury like the world has never seen. that the united states assets were locked and loaded ready for a military response. several members of his cabinet have made it clear just a few days ago that diplomacy was the preferred method for moving forward with north korea. rex tillerson also relaying as
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much. so you have two very distinct messages. the president very aggressive in his tone. at one point, making it clear that he does not favor diplomacy, saying that talking is not the answer. and members of his cabinet would seem to appeal to that more diplomatic and engaging and potentially talks with north korea or any kind of conversation that would stray away from the more aggressive tone of the president. he's also been very vocal in his frustration with china even going back into the days of the campaign of the 2016 campaign, donald trump made it clear he wanted china to take a much more involved place in conversations with deescalating tensions with north korea. just a few weeks ago he tweeted out saying he was upset that china hadn't done more. we are still expecting a response from the president. so far it has been a continued
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escalation. the president putting forth essentially a very aggressive tone and then north korea responding either with threats to guam or a missile flying over japan or as we saw now, this latest nuclear test coming just a few days after the president said he believed that kim jong-un was beginning to respect the united states. again, cnn has reached out to the white house. we are still waiting for a response. >> as you point out, the cabinet, the president's cabinet hasn't been on the same page, as you point out, tillerson and mcmaster indicates there is room for talk. but not the language that president trump has issued. but the buck stops with him. he's the one, certainly, that will make the call on what the u.s. response will be and talk to us about how connected he's been with countries in the region like japan and south korea.
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>> first, he actually had a phone conversation with japanese prime minister shinzo abe just yesterday. north korea obviously came up in that conversation. on friday he had a conversation with the south korean president, moon jae-in. it is something that continuously has come up in conversation for the president through his tweets and his statements to the press. it's interesting, the sort of disconnect between the president and some of his closest advisers. this there has been speculation that the administration is playing this good cop/bad cop tactic on north korea trying to paint the president as a madman, so to speak, an overly aggressive person who won't back down and you have secretary
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mattis and tillerson come out with these more muted responses. trying to get north korea not to provoke someone when it comes to challenging north korea in a theater of war, perhaps. so there, again, is speculation this is by design. we don't have a clear indication as to whether that is the case. >> boris sanchez out of washington. thank you. and jean lee is with us in seoul. i would like to ask your perspective from seoul what is the u.s. strategy for dealing with north korea. there was a sense, perhaps when mr. trump came to power that might change because his tweets and language were very different from the language of his predecessor. eight months on are you able to
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define the u.s. strategy vis-a-vis north korea? >> one of the issues here we have seen the strategy all over the place. and it's extremely important for the trump administration to look at the messaging coming out of north korea right now. the statements from state media and really look to see if there is room for an opening here. one thing that's clear is that kim jong-un, the leader of north korea, is not cowed by the rhetoric coming from washington from the warnings that president trump has made and he is undeterred. he has laid out a very clear time line of what he wants to accomplish. he wants an intercontinental ballistic missile that is came of striking the mainland u.s. with a nuclear warhead and i want it to come back and strike. today is a milestone for the north koreans. you can be sure they will be
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celebrating this in the days ahead as well as the september 9 foundation day that is coming up on saturday. but there is a chance that kim jong-un said he needed to protect the country from the threat of the u.s. he may be ready to take a step back and talk to the u.s. i think it's very important for washington to make sure they get their messaging right and they coordinate with the allies in the region so they are all on the same page. >> that's an interesting idea. and potentially a silver lining if i follow your analysis, you're essentially telling us there might be a level of military readiness for north korea. when it attains that level, may be ready to talk to the u.s.? >> indeed. i cannot speak for the north koreans --
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>> but you see a potential window of opportunity there? >> there have been windows of opportunity that the trump administration has missed from the start of this administration. so it's very important right now to make sure to read those signals properly and to approach them properly. that does not mean to cave in or to play their game but to be smart about the strategy and as sophisticated. the north koreans have been playing this game for some time and they have a carefully crafted plan and have been following it meticulously. and according to a set pattern. it's up to the united states how to read those cues and how to deal with the north koreans, find up what they want and come up with the strategy that takes away from the -- >> you are saying that the trump administration has had opportunities to engage with
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north korea. honestly from the point of view from an observer of international relations those windows haven't been apparent to me. what are you referring to? >> i'm going back to when trump was campaigning for the presidency. one he the things he said i will talk to kim jong-un. and north koreans were intrigued by that, to be honest. they liked the idea of a president who is willing to sit down and talk to them. remember, president barack obama had a policy of strategic patient which is not giving the north koreans satisfaction of a response. so at the time when trump was campaigning, here was a prosecute willing to give them the credibility of sitting down with him. north korea, one of the things they want is for the u.s. to
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acknowledge that north korea is a nuclear power and to sit down with them and to discuss the korean war, the signing of a peace treaty and the removal of korean troops from korea soil. kim jong-un said it on new year's day this year. hi wanted to sit down and discuss the resolution of the korean war. it's important to recognize that this war is still intact and still in place and part of north korea's ideology and its political strategy is to use the conflict with the u.s. to justify the building of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and to get the u.s. to the negotiating table and perhaps it will mean some sort of concession on the part of the united states. i think that is what the president was referring to in terms of extortion but the u.s. has to figure out what it will take to bring security and stability in this region. >> fascinating insights there
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and a different approach from the one i've got from a lot of my guests on this issue who say there are only bad choices for the u.s. let get back to christiane only pure. you heard jean there saying there have been windows of opportunity and there is a possibility for the u.s. to engage with north korea. >> i've been reporting that for years. may be unpalatable. but only engagement is going to work. i was there in 2008 and went to the nuclear plant and one of three reporters allowed in there. there we are getting suited up to watch them at that time under the auspices of kim jong-il and george w. bush engage in an exercise of incapacitating the
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nuclear reactor there. and the fuel rods and all the rest of it. and a few months later they blew up the cooling tower. all this was their demonstration they were engaging in a process of negotiations with the united states and for an exchanges for releasing sanctions and taking them off the international terrorist list. then it all collapsed. then comes kim jong-un and negotiates full stopped. there has been nothing of any significance between the u.s. and its six-power allies and north korea. and in that time, north korea has sped ahead and has shown the world it can do what it's done without much help from the outside. i have been speaking of this crisis as it has risen to such a level to william perry who is engaged in the nuclear issue and he has said it's very, very
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important to realize what kim jong-un wants. what he wants is the survival of his own dynasty. he wants to be assured that regime change is not in the offing. that is why they want to keep their nuclear weapons. that's why the officials met with north koreans outside the country and were told we're not giving up or going to denuclearize. you need to take us seriously. the other thing is, he is worried, secretary perry they could blunder into a terrible conflict. if north korea believes that the united states or anyone else might launch a pre-emptive strike, north korea might jump the gun and do that. there need to be back channel or front channel or whatever it is
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array of strooeategic points to bring up with the north koreans in this moment of high tension so there is not a catastrophic blunder. and the other thing that is really important to note is that the era of really dangerous nuclear war sort of started to dissipate after the end of the cold war and the united states engaging with the former soviet union to reduce nuclear weapons. a whole generation of younger people have not grown up with this terrible reality of the catastrophic consequence of any nuclear military action. it's almost like, you know, minds have sort of moved away from this whereas they were focused during the cold war. that needs to really engage now. this is really dangerous. this could be a blunder into some kind of confrontation, negotiation and talks and understanding what is going on needs to happen.
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most people believe that the kim dynasty and kim jong-un is not suicidal and doesn't want the destruction of his country but you have to be very careful when you are not talking that messages are not misinterpreted or misunderstood. it has to be very clear now the messaging between all sides. >> it's interesting you say kim jong-un is not crazy. >> i said not suicidal. >> yes, but a few years ago it was a question that was asked in the literature on north korea, is he crazy? most people now view him as a rational player who is advancing toward a very specific goal. i have another question, do you see a clear u.s. strategy from the trump presidency on north korea at this point. there is a really chasm between what the president is saying whether it's locked and loaded,
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fire and fury or talk is not the answer. this is all coming from trudona trump and the language from his secretary. >> some analysts have said in previous administrations, there has been a sort of all over the map kind of reaction to north korea. you had a fairly successful engagement under the bill clinton administration in the '90s and that was with the founder of the regime. and they did step back with the frame work agreement and from a brink at that time. then george w. bush came in and all that collapsed and you saw north korea kick off the inspectors and withdraw from the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. kick out the iaea nuclear inspectors. and the world was blind to what
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north korea was doing in its nuclear plant. they didn't note what was going on. and north korea was moving ahead. then in the middle, the second bush term they realized they had to do something different and that's when we went over there with cultural diplomacy. the new york fiphil harmonic we over there. there was a moment of hope and stepping back from the brink. yongbyon was being moth balled. so that was happening. then kim jong-il died and the current kim jong-un took over and he has been able to just move ahead. there has been no negotiations under the obama administration.
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strategic patience. nothing has really worked and the kind of sanctions that the world united to bring against iran which has to be said did not have a weapons program but to stop its nuclear reactor energy program, those kind of global coordinated sanctions have never been brought against pyongyang. now this is what's happened, despite the sanctions that are on. and most people who have engaged with the north koreans believe that what has to happen is a strategic framework where they can engage and keep this, you know, walled off. keep this in a situation where even if they are moving ahead with gaining status of another global nuclear power that they are engaged with and they're not, you know, they know clearly there are lines and detente.
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>> if you are just joining us and wondering what does that mean? we want to continue to bring you the developing breaking news out of north korea. the country says it has just successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. this is announcement from their news anchor right there in the past hour or so. japan has partially confirmed that claim. it says an earthquake it detected earlier was a nuclear test. china, the u.s., and south korea have not gone as far but all say they also detected seismic activity. >> reports come less than a day after pyongyang said it has a new hydrogen bomb. these pictures purport to show kim jong-un inspecting the device. state media claim it can be loaded on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
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the h-bomb test was carried out to confirm the power, control, technology and design newly introduced into manufacturing h-bomb to be placed at the payload of the icbm. >> will ripley is following this story from tokyo. you were just in north korea yesterday. is that right? and also, get your reaction to their statement. and to this language coming from christiane and jean lee and you have always said and said the same thing that you've gotten from this regime. you have been there several times, that their looking for room to talk and to be respected on the international stage. >> hi, natalie. i woke up in pyongyang yesterday, got home to tokyo last night and today this north
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korean sixth nuclear test. a test that the united states have felt that north korea could conduct with very little notice. it was back in april they believed that a north korean nuclear test was imminent and that did not happen on april 15th. here we are less than a week after the joint military drills that the united states and south korea have ended. it was one week after they ended last week they conducted their fifth nuclear test. this last one was up to 11 more times power than the h-bomb test in january of last year. i was in the country on that day when north korea tested their h-bomb last january. there was a lot of skepticism around the world and it is remarkable to think how much things have changed in terms of
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the global perception from that per ported h-bomb test in january of last year to this test just hours ago. what has changed is the realization by the rest of the world that the north korean nuclear danger is far greater than most analysts would have predicted and north korea continues to make progress much faster than anyone would have expected especially compared to when i first started traveling to north korea until now. and what this gives us is a window into the strategy of kim jong-un. he has decided that his country's best and perhaps only option to get that respect at the international stage is because they have such little leverage in north korea. they're an impoverished country and don't have relations with that many countries. they face a large adversary, the
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united states far wealthier, exponentially more politically influential. so the view from the north korean officials is they need to find a leverage that the rest of the world cannot counter. what kim jong-un, the leader of north korea believes this nuclear arsenal gives them that leverage. this is a plan he spelled out in 2013 less than two years after he came to power where he said that north korea is going to try to grow its nuclear program and also grow its economy. at that time a lot of people laughed at that notion thinking it's impossible for a country to grow a nuclear arsenal, a country as poor as north korea to grow their nuclear arsenal and grow their economy. last year their economy grew almost 4% because of their trade relationship with china, trade that continues. and we have seen them launch
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missiles at an unprecedented pace. last week on tuesday it was the hwasong-12 that flew over hokkaido in japan. people woke up to air raid sirens, messages to take shelter in sturdy buildings. in july it was the hwasong-14 they launched twice in one month, one they say can carry a miniature warhead to mainland u.s. and they put out pictures of what they claim is that miniatured nuclear warhead. a hydrogen bomb that can be placed on an icbm and launched. north korea doesn't want to come to the table from a position of weakness here. and this test is one step closer to that. >> will ripley for us, we'll talk with you again. now to cyril. >> now let's talk to former cnn correspondent mike janoy.
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he is the author of the book "meltdown." could you please shed some light on china's position in all of this? because china has always said to be the single country that has the most leverage over north korea. and china has been either reluctant or unable to use its leverage over the past year to limit to put a cap on all this military testing in north korea. >> well, the characterization of china is both accurate but not completely accurate. the chinese do have leverage because most north korean trade and fuel supplies and so on all go through china. but for a variety of reasons the chinese see the north korean issue quite differently than the united states. they are ultimately most worried about the possibility of regime collapse of turmoil, leading to
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a crisis of north korean refugees pouring into china and leading to the collapse of north korea and reunified south korea with a security alliance with the united states. that worries the chinese more. as a result, the chinese have introduced some sanctions and they do not like north korea's nuclear program they are reluctant to take the harsh measures that might bring kim jong-un's administration to its knees. one of the interesting questions to consider at the moment is how are the chinese going to view this nuclear test in the face of all the other north korean provocations? is there going to be a point where the calculus is going to
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change? it's hard to say but that's something we have to look carefully at. >> i understand what you were explaining to us but my question to that, i've heard this argument before. isn't there a sweet spot for china where short of regime change they are still able to -- what's the word? domesticate, rein in the north korean regime and its military ambitions? >> the north koreans are not going to let themselves be domesticated. my own conclusion from having been there 17 times and written two books on north korea, the north korean would rather go down with the fight than cave to any outside pressure and that includes china. everybody thinks that because china and north korea are on the same side in the korean war and have more relations than any other country that the north korean will listen to china.
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the north koreans resent this notion that they would obediently fall into line with china. i think, in fact, over many years the north koreans, one of the reasons why in the 90s and early 2,000s they tried to -- was to give them leverage to counter china. it is worth noting this nuclear test took place just hours before chinese leader xi jinping was due to open a big international summit with the leaders of brazil, south korea and india. the brics countries. this is a big diplomatic deal and the north koreans knocked it off the headlines, embarrassed xi jinping, showed the chinese urging to -- >> let me interrupt you for a second. i understand what you're saying
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but you are saying short of regime change there is nothing that china can do to rein in the north korean regime, right? >> i think that the chinese view is that the north korea issue is not simply of north korean provocation. beijing believes and they are not allow that part of what is driving north korea is a sense of profound insecurity and fear of the united states and that ultimately, addressing the issues between pyongyang and washington is the key to unlocking this and that absent meaningful diplomacy between north korea and the united states the idea that coercion alone is going to force north korea to change its mind is unrealistic. that's an idea i share. the chinese could pressure north korea more. but if north korea feels its back is against the wall it could lash out in more provocative ways. there's got to be a diplomatic
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way out or you get in a dangerous situation. >> all right. a former cnn correspondent. a former cnn correspondent. thank you for your input here. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com i'm cyril vanier. >> thank you for joining us for another our of our analysis of this story. i'm natalie allen. >> japan partially confirms that claim and says an earthquake detected earlier was a nuclear test. china, south korea and the u.s. have not gone tremor. the blast nuclear test only triggered a 5.3. reports come

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